By Bri Zeiberg ’19
After anxiously waiting for a year, another season of the hit Netflix original “Orange is the New Black” released their fifth season. I was thrilled when they announced the release date because the previous season ended on a rather exciting note.
The show takes place at Litchfield Penitentiary, an all female prison, in upstate New York. While there are many characters being focused on within the show, the show mainly revolves around Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) surviving her 15 month sentence in prison.
In the beginning of April, Netflix released the first five minutes of the new season and an offical trailer that painted a picture of the craziness in the 13 episodes within the season. The first five minutes didn’t reveal much, but did give us insight on the beginning of the prison riot that would take place throughout the entire season.
Avery Smith ’19, an avid viewer of OITNB, described her reaction when the videos were released. “When the first five minutes of the season were leaked I absolutely fell out of my seat,” Smith said. “Being that I was waiting all year for this season to air I could not help but explode with both joy and anticipation when it came out.”
In February, it was also announced that three more seasons will be aired including season 5. This reassured me that this was not the end of the series and there will be more.
As more and more information was released about the new season, it became hard to dictate what was true or not. The one piece of information I learned prior to the release was that the season would would take place over the course of just three days; not the usual course of months in the previous seasons. I didn’t know if I would like this; how much can happen in the span of just three days? This made me even more anxious for the season to air.
The day of June 9, the release of the new season, was filled with hours and hours of watching the newly aired episodes.My worries about the season were proved wrong. I loved how the season transpired in just three days. Smith agreed. “So much happened in those three to four days, so much I can’t even articulate it,” she said. After finishing all 13 of the 50 minute long episodes, I was definitely wowed and surprised.
The main plot of the season is built upon the riot that is occurring within the prison because of the death of one of the inmates. This death was significant because she was killed by one of the prison officers, which caused the riot to spark. Inmates believed they were being mistreated and were living in inhumane living conditions. Throughout the season, inmates were given the opportunity to have their voice heard and possibly bring an end to the inhumane and brutal treatment they were getting. After many emotional hiccups, the season never fully explained if those demands were going to be implemented in the prison.
The season was overall an emotional rollercoaster. “There were times where all I wanted to do was look away due to terror, intensity, excitement, and heartbreak, but I couldn’t because it was just too good,” Smith said.
Overall, I believed that the season felt like one long movie. This was good and bad because it didn’t give you the same amount of flashbacks and diversity in other seasons, which I enjoyed. I was more than impressed by the season and am looking forward to find out what will happen to the inmates and the prison system. Now all fans of OITNB have to do is wait another year for season 6.